Don't worry, it will still be an off-roading beast.
In the lead-up to the reveal of the 2020 Land Rover Defender, there have been countless leaks and teasers, generating hype for the anticipated SUV. Very few people outside of Land Rover have driven the new Defender but a handful of European publications like Top Gear were recently given the chance to ride in it on an off-road course. During the event, Andy Deeks, Land Rover's product engineering team leader, gave away a few details about what we can expect from the 2020 Defender.
The first interesting tidbit is the inclusion of two different suspension types, standard coils, and an optional air suspension. "The air system actively monitors temperature in the dampers and protects the vehicle by changing the parameters of the suspension as you're driving. But the coil car is still the most capable car in its class," said Deeks. Land Rover's Terrain Response has also been improved for the Defender, "but basically you should be able to leave it in auto and do anything," he added.
There are also numerous changes to the Defender's platform to make it more suitable for off-roading than other Land Rover models. "In our terminology 4B means it's above any other production car, but below full military vehicle specification. The geometry and hardpoints are the same, but suspension members, bushes, front ball joints, and steering are all more durable and robust," Deeks explained. As for the wheels options, the 18-inch units are standard but 22-inch units are available with either all-terrain or mud-terrain tires.
It's been rumored that the new Defender will arrive in three body styles, a 90, 110, and 130, with the former being a two-door model and the two latter models having four-doors. Deeks confirmed the existence of the 90 and 110 but the 130 still remains a rumor.
Land Rover has thoroughly tested the Defender to make sure it can withstand the punishment the previous generation was capable of taking. "Lots of what we do here at the moment is collecting data that's fed into a six-post rig that's running what we call a whole vehicle life test," Deeks said. It simulates 10 years or 150,000 miles of constant use and "the target is no failures in that time. We've had cars go through with no failures - both 90 and 110, and coil and air-sprung."